Sunday, January 31, 2010

Carnal Flower, L'eau d'Hiver, Bulgari Black (short reviews)

Carnel Flower (Malle)...smells like gramma but not in a memorable way.  Am I just too unsophisticated to get this?

L'eau d'Hiver (Malle)..actually enjoyed the top and middle (green turning to warm caramel), but by the end, it smelled like dishsoap.

Black (Bulgari)...again, makes me think that I have a total pedestrian nose or something. I adore the bottle, and I like the rubber/vanilla thing going on, but perhaps I am unable to sniff out such sublime stuff.

*all samples from*

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tauer's L'air du desert marocain

 Firstly, let me just state that so many great perfume blogs out there are teasing me so much that my want/need for more samples is causing a frenzied fight between my pocketbook ("no Carol, you really don't need more samples since you haven't sniffed even half of the ones you have") and my heart ("but Carol, just think of all the pleasure you'll get out of more samples - you NEED WANT them..")  Sigh!  That whole devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other.  FLICK...bump!  Yep, that was the sound of my knocking the angel off to the floor.

(Quick Review:  Diptyque's L'Autre (which I would really like if only it wasn't so much Indian restaurant at once!)  Husband liked it, though, and asked if he could have my sample. link to fragrantica's page ).  I can understand why this one has been discontinued)

I read a blog entry on Tauer's L'air du desert marocain (which of course I cannot find so I cannot reference it - arghhh) so I had to see what it was like on me, given that I have a sample from luckyscent.    Oh my heavens (or should I say oh my earth!)  What a wonderful fragrance.  Smokey incense yet somehow clean. Long-lasting and ooooh have I said how much I like this?  I wore it last night to a gathering of a few friends at a local eatery/bar.  FF and RL liked it a lot, but NL (who doesn't like a whole lot of scents, and esp strong ones) didn't care for it, either did the only male in the group, who said that he likes more flowery notes on women.   read about it at Tauer's website

And of course, now I want to try Tauer's Incense Rose.

Unfortunately the bottle is butt-ugly, or should I say fortunately?  Maybe I'll just order a large decant from theperfumedcourt! (photo from Tauer's website)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bois d'Iris (The Different Company)

I sniffed Bois d'Iris initially at FF's house, when she first taught me about purchasing samples on line! Oh thank you FF for your knowledge and help!

My reaction was instantaneous - I want it and I want it now! (I believe FF said something like it smelled like a roll in the hay with Gerard Depardieu...or was that another sampled fragrance?  I need to take better notes!).  She gave me some of her larger sample to take home with me and I was very very happy!

(photo from

Anyway, I sniffed this again, and again, (and again - in fact I have had to buy another sample).  The iris (root?) deep and woodsy and compelling draws me in immediately. There is a hint of hay! This is one perfume that I do not have to wait for the mid/base to come calling - it has me at the get-go.  The only negative is that it fades a little too quickly for me, but even so, this is a must-have .

- sample from luckyscent
- TS/LT say three stars "irish whiskey"
- perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena

Notes:  iris (some sites say iris root), vetiver, bergamot, cedar, geranium, narcissus and musk.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Chanel experiment

I received four samples from theperfumed court the other day - finally they arrived!

At first blush, they all were a little weird to me for some reason, but  they move into their world quite quickly.

Cuir de Russie - oh!! I smell the leather.  Wow, I like this smell.  With Bois des Iles it is a pleasant floral, but doesn't wow.  Coco -ahhhhh!   No. 19 - this was the Chanel I wore in my early 20s because I couldn't stand No. 5 (I guess I have always disliked aldehydes even before I knew the term).  A little more depth that the other at the mid phase, and of course the nostalgia from having worn this scent nearly 30 years ago.

Coco stays the longest on my skin.  In fact when I got up this morning, I could still smell it on me.  It end up as a warm fragrance, and very comforting.   Of all four, I like Coco the best.  But I do love the leather smell of Cuir de Russie, but I'm not that woman to wear CdR - she is much more posh than I'll ever be!  I need, now, to find a leather fragrance that knocks my socks off.

I should do a test of Coco and Coco Mademoiselle together and see what happens.

Oh this isn't very detailed (no perfumers or notes) - sorry folks - getting ready for my husband to come back from CA - he has been gone three weeks - so I'm a little distracted! ;)

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I'm a little off my game - a new job is looming (February 1st) and my current job is driving me batty.  My husband is in CA for three weeks, so I am home alone w/all the animals.  And I'm quitting smoking.

So I'm not that happiest person on this planet right now.

But new scents that enthrall me DO make me happy.

For instance, La Chasse aux Pappilons (both versions). I tested them yesterday, and they're very lovely and quite different.  I'm drawn initially more to the Extreme version, but of course, who couldn't have guessed that!  I'm really looking for a pretty floral as I'm so stuck in all things oriental.  I haven't quite come up with the right words to describe these two, so I'll do another test tomorrow and write more about my initial reaction to the original version when I sniffed it at FF's house a whle back.

(the photo is of a hydrangea in my yard - I couldn't find the photo of one of my lilac bushes so this will have to suffice!)

So today, I met my friend TKF at our local Sephora store.  She wanted some new makeup and I was there to keep the sales people (i.e., the under 30 ones) from veering in directions she didn't want to go.  She did find some good stuff - I'm a fan of Stilla's powdered foundation (though any more I hardly ever wear foundation) and she ended getting some.  Also, some blush from NARS - I got some too - "Madly."  I wonder though if it will just end up in my container-of-misfit-makeup.  I should try harder some times.  I do wear lip stuff every (and perfume, of course).  We'll see.

Anyway, so I find the Fresh line (TKF told me she wears one of the sugar varieties), and I got three samples -  Cannabis Rose, Pink Jasmine and Hesperides.  On first whiff, Herperides reminds me a bit of Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune (Guerlain) which I really like but haven't done a proper test of yet.

Oh why do I keep getting samples when I have so many here?  And why am I writing in two journals (here and my sketch book?) - umm, could it be that I'm bored? ;)

I did test two Kilian fragrances today (samples from luckyscent) - A Taste of Heaven and Liaisons Dangereuses.  ATOH reminds me, after the initial burst of citrus, of L'Air de Rien (the oakmoss perhaps?) and I think LADR is a much superior scent.  LD?  Well it pretty much melted away quickly.  Not a bad scent; in fact it is really nice, but it just doesn't stay on my skin at all.

Yep, I'm looking for an amazing floral (without aldehydes of course).  Also looking for a rose (have six or so samples of different rose perfumes, and maybe Sunday I'll do a major scent test.

OH, speaking of smells - have you checked out Penzey's Spices yet?  WOW!  Their Tellicherry Black Pepper is to DIE for!  I have to drive across town to visit the store, but you can check them out here!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Badgley Mischka

- sample from
- four stars "gorgeous fruity" LT/TS
- perfumer Richard Herpin

I don't know, maybe my nose is broke, but I barely sniff anything and what I do get a whiff of is pleasant and all, but definitely not something I would purchase.  There are other perfumes that have a similar aura that I have already.

Notes (taken from BM's website via  red wild berries, peach, cinnamon, osmanthus, white peony, jasmine, swede musk, indian sandalwood, caramel amber, patchouli)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Opium, Mitsouko, Shalimar

Opium (YSL), Mitsouko and Shalimar (Guerlain) are three of my favourite perfumes.  One of the reasons I started of my perfume journey is because I need to expand my horizons with regard to scents, especially to learn and appreciate the floral and fruity ones.

Although of course I had to get this special edition bottle of Shalimar.  And I have just spent an hour searching on line because I know I have seen (in my Gramma F's house?) a round bottle of Shalimar, and low and behold, I did find reference to it at  Thank goodness I'm not losing my mind!  (check out this page to see it!)

Kenzo Jungle "L'Elephant"

- Sample from theperfumedcourt
- four stars "clove plum" LT/TS
- perfumer Dominique Ropion

The first blast of citrus and spice, and then a wonderful warmth (caraway? licorice?)  I would definitely purchase of bottle of this perfume - it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

top note:  mandarin, cardamon, cloves
mid: caraway, mango, heliotrope, ylang-ylang, licorice
base: patchouli, vanilla, amber

(taken from

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Oh, to be a young punk again

Firstly, let's get through the boring-ness that is Daisy (Marc Jacobs). I had to re-apply three hours after initial spritz. The slight grapefruit at opening was pleasant, and the mid/base was nicer, but in general this scent is boring, blah, and waste of my test day.

Sel de Vetiver (The Different Company).
I actually did a little test of this a few nights ago, when I splashed some on and was immediately in lust with nostalgia that was my life, the remembrance of how many possibilities that is youthful experimentation and romance. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's true.

This is a perfume I would wear when I looked like this, and the world was my oyster.  When I would wear a pomade of bergamot to grease my hair that I found in Woolworths on Euclid Avenue, finding new music, art and literature, and people and lifestyles to explore.

Yesterday in the afternoon, my 21 year old son stopped by.  He allowed me to put some of it on him, and when we went shopping together, I would stop and ask him if I could sniff.  It was really lovely on him, but alas, he has no interest in scent and given his personality this wouldn't be right for him anyway.

I tested this again this morning - oh how I love this fragrance.

But there's too much sadness in it for me to wear it these days - the emotions it evokes of the loss of youth and my exuberance and naivete.

But, if I only could go back thirty years with this perfume in hand and on body, I would have ruled the world!    (can you tell I'm a little PMSy today?)

check here for notes/information

Saturday, January 16, 2010

photos of my sketch book journal for days two and three

1/13/2010:  L'air de Rien (Miller Harris)
In my sketch book, I also affix parts of the packaging if I have them on hand. I'm a weirdo.

Anyway, check out this thread as I love what Ruggles et al had to say about this (I'm selwynne on there too)  'The Real Skank'

Basically I think that this is a scent that Jeanne in "Last Tango in Paris" may have worn!

 1/14/2010:  My Insolence (Guerlain)
What I'm saying in this entry is that this is a nice fragrance and doesn't distract me, and it's a good choice when I want to blend in. Plus it's a Guerlain.  And that I'm thinking that L'Artisan's La Chasse Aux Papillons may take its place when I use this bottle up but I still have to test both the original and extreme version once I get the extreme sample.

I also talk about my Miss Balmain sample (YUCK, aldehydes) and how I gave it to Frieda F.

the first day of the journey (1/12/2010)

(from my sketch book)

Coco Mademoiselle (Chanel).
- sample from a Sephora store
- 4 stars "floral oriental" from LT/TS' perfume guide
- perfumer Jacques Polge

top notes:  orange, bergamot, grapefruit
middle notes: litchi, rose, italian jasmine
base notes: indonesian patchouli, haitian vetiver, bourbon vanilla, white musk 
(notes taken from

Today I begin my little perfume journey/journal.  I'll try a perfume or two a day, and see how I feel about them.  I have ordered a ton of samples (from and and I mean a ton!

I can probably go a half of a year with all the samples I have and  the ones that Frieda F has (edit:  my sniffing partner-in-crime).  Anyway, onto the review. 

You'd think that with the list of ingredients in this perfume, I would adore it.  It IS pretty, it IS lovely...but...that's just it.  It doesn't wow me.  A fragrance though I'd wear if someone gifted it to me.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Guess what came in the mail today!?!?!

Give up?

A beautiful bottle of L'Air de Rien!!! 
Excuse me while I indulge in this scent for a minute.

AHHHH, okay now where was I?

I'll pretty up this blog at some point, but I wanted to note the samples I just got from, which was also in the post today:
  • Dune (Christian Dior)
  • Premiur Figuier Extreme (L'Artisan)
  • Timbuktu (L'Artisan)
  • Mure et Musc Extreme (L'Artisan)
  • Lolita Lempicka 
  • Badgley Mischka
  • New York (Parfums d Nicolai)
  • Black (Bulgari)
  • Le Feu d'issey (Issey Miyake)
  • Mauboussin
Most of the samples I have been getting these past two weeks are from my reading of the Lutin/Sanchez book.  No, they are not all the five star ones, but ones that I'm intrigued by their description, or from my friend Frieda F's suggestions, and sharing our samples to be sniffed and tea to be sipped at her home.

I have always been interested in scent - from the first bottle of rose water that my Great Gramma gave me, to Jovan's Musk in the 70s, then to perfumed oils of patchouli and other stuff from the hippy stores, and then finding Opium in the early 80s, and The Body Shop,  and..well, you get the picture.  Even if I didn't have a lot of money, I usually wore some sort of perfume.  It was like lip color to me - even though the rest of me may have been in shambles, I always had on lipstick and perfume (or nearly always!)

So, for the past coupla days, I have been writing my perfume journey in a sketch book.  I want to continue this sketch book because I don't want to lose it all to the internet.  It's kinda like digital photography - it's all well and good, but sometimes I just want to pick up an actual photograph!

I'm attempting to do a scent per day, and today is Day Four.  I'll probably pull out my sketch book and post here at some point what I wrote in there over the past three days, but here goes Day Four's Test (which is a scent I have on hand, and not from a sample because I knew I'd be busy at work today so I kinda cheated):

The perfume I tested today was Bath and Body Works' Sandalwood Rose, which unfortunately has been discontinued (the only 'notes' I have found are sandalwood, rose and green tea).  This fragrance, although not fancy or layered, is something my BFF Denise and I fell for one summer years ago when we took time away from our boys to spend an afternoon having lunch at an organic market, and then walking over to the BBW store to sniff.    It's an, or should I say, it was a lovely inexpensive treat.

A while back I found a bunch of Sandalwood Rose products in the close-out bin and I think I bought 4 of their bottles of scent and some body wash.  Denise had a good birthday that year!  And I am still enjoying the left-overs. 

Let me see how this whole blogger thing works.  I'm used to LiveJournal (I'm selwynne on there, btw) so this format will take me a bit to figure out.